I really didn’t want to see “Iron Man” after seeing the trailers in the movie theater, the TV, and the Internet. My husband, though, was very much into this movie and made me watch all of trailers to try to get me excited too. I can happily report, despite what was shown in the trailers, “Iron Man” is a very enjoyable action movie and I recommend it as a good movie to see this summer. I don’t know much about “Iron Man”‘s comic book heritage so I can’t comment on how faithful this presentation is to the comic (I’d say that this is part of American “Gundam” Lore). The movie, itself, was very modern with the enemies being a multi-national network of terrorists and a “greatest generation” warmonger who is stuck in the WWII/cold-war past. Our hero goes from self-centered ass to self-centered ass with a sense a purpose. In many ways, I felt this movie was very “gen-X.” Robert Downey Jr. is enjoyable as the womanizing genius engineer Mr. Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow is a very cute Pepper Potts (I don’t know how she manages to function in the heel they put her in — kudos to Gwynneth for having excellent balance and leg strength). And then there’s the bad guy Obediah played by a cackling Jeff Bridges. His bald head and over-the-top facial hair were a hoot. Terrence Howard, who plays Jim Rhodes, plays a pretty small role as Tony’s only friend other than Pepper Potts. It sounds like in the sequel, already planned to release summer 2010, he will play a greater role.
Onto the special effects … they were great. I was completely convinced that this world existed. Everything looked really smooth and the integration of live action and animation was seamless.
As for the story, the pacing was kept fast by the comedic aspects. I like the way the Stark character remains very confident and true to his character despite his finding his calling in life. He is still a loner, he is still an awesome engineer/tinkerer, and still awkward in his personal relationships as he realizes how much he depends on Pepper Potts and longs for a true friend in Jim Rhodes. This movie felt to me like it was introducing the characters and the world of “Iron Man” and setting the stage for the sequel. This movie also reminded me of the joy of engineering and tinkering in the garage, so go see it, if you need some inspiration or just to feel good.
As for the taking kids to this movie: There were some families with kids around 8-ish inthe theater when we saw it. The kid in our aisle was disturbed by the chest implant in the Tony Stark character and her parents had to remind her that it wasn’t real. My feeling is that this movie isn’t appropriate for children under 10 or maybe older, depending on how mentally mature the child is.